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Last Reviewed on 12 March 2019 - Minor Update - 13 December 2018 - main Content Update
Brook Glycerin 16
This is a brilliant walking shoe for those using treadmills or fitness walking especially on concrete. Supreme cushioning, great support for high arched feet and removable insoles for those needing orthotics. Flexibile upper and large toe box area.
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I have waited so long to do a full review on the Brooks Glycerin 16 Shoe, and I can’t wait for you to read this!
I first started writing a review a few months after the shoe came out but when a saw an onslaught of positive reviews, I knew I had to get a pair for myself.
So this is an unusual review in a sense that not only am I pooling in hours of research and digging into full shoe stats as well as weighing online reviews against one another but I have actually used these shoes.
So here is why everyone is in love with the Brooks Glycerin 16 and why I am in love with the men's version!
The Glycerin series has been a long time favorite for many people who are totally brand loyal. But like any brand, Brooks has sought to make minor tweaks and upgrades in their efforts to make the perfect shoe.
Of course, there is no such thing as perfect, but boy does the 16 come close.
The Glycerin 16 is a beautiful and comfortable long-distance walking and running shoe. It is perfect for prolonged use and walking on hard surfaces.
You are looking at a supportive, stable, and flexible shoe that will not disappoint.
The latest edition of the Glycerin’s is by far my favorite long-distance walking shoe and you will find just about everyone who puts these on feels the same.
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It’s rare to find a walking or running shoe that is lightweight and breathable but also fits well. Usually, more rugged shoes meant for trail walking and hiking are keen on sizing but Brooks just goes to show that there is an exception to everything.
There were virtually no reviews, none that I saw at least, that complained of the shoe running small. In fact, the number one sizing objection was that it ran a half-size too big. That is mostly due to the new upper but I’ll get to that in a bit.
In general, the Glycerin 16 fits well and runs true to size. The shoe is wide and accommodating and the toe box has plenty of wiggle room for when your feet swell during long sweaty runs and hot summer days.
The best part, there is no break-in period so what you buy is what you get!
Like the old saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
That statement has never been truer, specifically as it relates to the outsoles of the Brooks Glycerin 16 Shoe.
The outsole still highlights a two section outsole like the previous model. In the rear, you have the HPR Plus Rubber which has anti-abrasion properties and delivers optimal grip.
The second piece, located in the forefoot, uses a Blow Rubber outsole for maximal responsiveness. The entire base unit is highly durable, fairly flexible, and provides necessary traction.
The 16 especially performs well on hard surfaces and can go the distance. These features along with the “Ideal Pressure Zones” vision which disperses impact and pressure throughout the shoe for fluid movement. This is what makes this the perfect long-distance walking shoe.
Reviewers loved the outsole of the past so Brooks decided not to change anything with this model… smart move.
Remember that whole “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” thing? Yeah well, Brooks took that a bit too seriously because the cushioning on the midsole has also stayed the same.
Honestly, I’m not mad about it and by the looks of it neither is the online community.
There is, of course, the added DNA Loft foam technology that along with a rubber and air mix provides for an incredibly smooth transition from heel to ball and toe as well delivers a soft landing and incredible bounce.
The midsole is responsive but maintains durability and a cushioned feel. Most reviewers love the spring-like action and even how the thick and heightened midsole looks.
There is also mild arch support which I will refer to in the next part:
If you look between the upper and thick midsole unit you will see a thin layer with the word “Glycerin” written on it in all caps. That’s the insole with arch support.
With the 16’s Brooks implemented mild arch support for people with slightly higher arches who suffer from pain and soreness in neutral or regular shoes.
A few people did complain that the support was not enough and they felt they needed addition relief. Luckily the shoe is wide and roomy enough to easily accommodate medical or over the counter orthotics and insoles for added cushioning and support.
Personally, I had no problem with the cushioning and feel the insole delivered necessary support for long-distance and all day use.
Heel and Achilles Support
Most shoes will have a plastic (usually TPU) material that cups against the back of the shoe for heel support and stability. With the 16 this addition is not visible but there is plenty of heel support.
Apparently, the inner heel clasps into the shoe itself and rests on the heel sleeve or ring.
People are absolutely going nuts over how soft, luxurious, and comfortable these shoes are. Who can blame them!
The heel collar where the ankle wrests is cut low enough for natural movement but more importantly the inner cushioning extends upwards and outwards for enhanced softness and a relaxed experience.
Not a single reviewer mentioned any notion of blistering or chafing which is rare given that this is a long-distance walking shoe but your heels and Achilles are well supported and protected!
The laces are probably the most boring aspect of the 16’s. There is a cool wave-like socket from which the laces zig-zag out of but apart from that nothing too interesting.
A few reviewers didn’t like the rounded design and thought it caused them to come apart. I didn’t experience this problem but it’s definitely something to consider especially if you want to use this as a long-distance shoe.
No one wants to tie their laces every 15 minutes, especially when you are going for a PR, so make sure you get your shoes nice and tight!
Tthe tongue is well padded to provide a limited amount of instep protection and the open bottom design of the throat (the opening where the tongue sits), makes the shoe better than most for people with high insteps.
Ok, I know you have been waiting patiently so let’s get right to it!
The upper on the Brooks Men’s Glycerin 16 is the most anticipated upgrade. A lot of people complained of a flimsy shoe with not enough support in the past model.
The time Brooks came through with an incredible upper design.
First of all, there is a full-wrap inner sock lining that is soft cushiony and thick. Some reviewers said this is the most comfortable shoe they have ever worn and it feels like walking on pillows or clouds and they aren’t wrong!
The best part you ask? Well, the dual-material upper of course! One layer has a double-jacquard mesh for enhanced air circulation and the other displays a 3D print upper which ads durability.
The upper fits well and stretches out to accommodate your swollen feet in the evening or during long walks.
Overall the upper is a bit wide and this is to allow plenty of room for your toes and feet to expand during impact.
Still, the shoe fits snug and is soft with added cushioning to deliver a lavish and comfortable feel.
One interesting problem a reviewer had which I also noticed was that because of the dual-upper the shoe retains water a little bit. While you are walking or running you won’t experience overheating but after use, you may feel like the shoe absorbs water.
This reviewer noticed that the shoe was still damp the next day after a long sweaty run.
It’s recommended to leave your shoes in an open exposed area so they get plenty of circulation and cool down after you have used them. Leaving any shoe in a gym bag or under your clothes is not a good idea.
Foot or Toe Box
Who doesn’t love a spacious toe box? The last thing you want is a shoe with a tight toe area to leave you feeling contained and tired.
The Glycerin 16’s come with plenty, and I mean plenty, of wiggle room for your toes to move around but you don’t feel like the shoe is about to slip off or anything. There is just enough room where it’s not constricting but not loose either.
The inner portion is also incredibly soft and commenters, including a few vloggers, couldn't stop complimenting the comfortable feel. One reviewer said he uses the shoe barefoot it’s so soft, of course.
Well good luck to her but this isn’t recommended with this type of shoe especially for long-distance use.
The only probably with the toe box is the lack of any real protection. Apart from the outsole extending upwards slightly and a thin plastic sheet there is not much keeping your toes safe from the elements.
Stay away from rough and mild trails and avoid wet weather because clearly, the shoe is not waterproof.
Excellent. No other word to describe it!
Brooks went with the updated upper to make sure the shoe had enough breathability and was well ventilated.
The jacquard mesh ensures proper air circulation and the 3D printed enclosure keeps dirt out. You are essentially left with a shoe that has incredible cooling and will allow you to go long distances without over-sweating and getting painful blisters.
Again, be wary that the shoe doesn’t dry too quickly as the dual-upper design remains damper longer than other shoes.
So give it enough time and the right conditions to dry off completely otherwise you risk chafing and wearing out your shoe too quickly… not to mention smelly feet.
The Glycerin 16 Shoe is made with comfort and support at its core. The inner sock liner of the shoe is incredibly soft and plush and the midsole delivers necessary comfort and spring for long walks and runs.
Thinking of going on a marathon? Do it with the 16’s!
The heel is supportive and strong and I can’t stress this enough but this is one incredibly comfortable long-distance walking shoe!
You can’t really pinpoint one aspect of it. The DNA Loft foam in the midsole, soft flexible dual-mesh upper, and the Ideal Pressure Zone outsole configuration are the front runners for most comfortable shoe features.
Almost every review online has the words “soft” and “comfortable” used in some context. I really think you should get these as walking shoes but they work for all-day wear as well… yeah, that’s the level of comfort we’re talking about.
Surprisingly the Glycerin 16 is fairly durable of course this is nothing new. The previous Glycerin model was also durable if used in the right terrain.
For long-distance walking, go with hard surfaces and traditional walking and running terrain like smooth roads, pavements, and treadmills. If you are feeling really dangerous a very mild trail won’t hurt, just avoid wet weather.
The only added durability in the 16 is the dual-upper which is in part made to withstand rips and tears.
The funny thing? This is what people complained most about.
For some reason, a few reviewers didn’t like the heavy build of the shoe and said it was clunky and awkward.
While the 301-gram average men’s size may seem like a lot keep in mind this isn’t designed to be a speed walking or sprinting shoe. Ideally, you should use this shoe for long-distance walking.
The good news is that even those who complained about the weight gave the shoe four or five stars because the weight isn’t a deal breaker per se. In fact, the mild arch support and optimal bounce from the midsole ensure that you have an enjoyable experience throughout the day.
Let me try to do this in one sentence:
The midsole is cool, the upper is awesome, and the laces are kind of lame.
While some criticize the 16’s like a bulky and awkward shoe, the midsole is actually fairly reserved and well built into the shoe. People are generally happy with how the shoe looks and they especially like the upper design.
The 16 came with a few color upgrades and the spotted dots on the upper give off a cool space and dinosaur skin feel… does that make sense?
Overall, it’s a great looking shoe, apart from the laces… people really hated the look of the laces.
The 16’s are best reserved for hard surfaces… If you usually feel like you are destroying your heels on the ground, these shoes are for you!
Although these are fairly durable walking shoes you should still stick to traditional walking surfaces like asphalt and a treadmill.
Of course, there is plenty of traction and the necessary grip to handle mild terrain and even wet roads and pavements just avoid wet grass and dirt.
Responsiveness, Feel, and Flexibility
For a shoe that is durable and has a rather dense midsole, the responsiveness is particularly good.
Online commentators found no trouble transitioning from one terrain to the other or from one activity to the next.
People enjoyed how solid the foundation was but it wasn’t rigid and gave with the natural movement of the foot.
This is also a fairly flexible shoe as it relates to the upper which is supportive but also stretchy to some extent and the outsole with the dual build highlighting both an HPR Plus Rubber and a Blown Rubber.
Conclusion and Wrap Up
Look I may have been a little biased. This probably isn’t the greatest shoe ever made but honestly, this is one phenomenal long-distance walking shoe.
You can take my word for it or the hours of research put into searching the web for comments, reviews, and Reddit threads.
You really can’t go wrong with the Brooks Men’s Glycerin 16 Shoe especially if you are looking for a flexible shoe with great breathability, nice heel support, and incredible bounce.
The inside is soft and luxurious with mild arch support and cushioning for a comfortable experience.
If you haven’t already tried the shoe on go for it and confirm what you already read here, that this is a fantastic shoe especially for long-distance walkers on hard surfaces and great for people with wider than average feet.
I love hiking with my family and taking in the cool air in the hills around where I live up in Ithaca.
Most of the time we take rather shorter walks out for a bit of exercise since there are so many things in life that we also want to do – and especially the kids.
Life is a balance but one where you should never take the beauty of nature for granted. I also enjoy writing about my experiences and helping others with the things I learn about shoes from using them, from friends and the family.